Apple/Polk, NWU, Tessera
In brief: Apple stores are now selling Polk Audio products, students at Northwestern University are using Facebook and the iPhone to perform a statistical analysis, and Tessera Technologies is in the process of acquiring FotoNation. Starting in March 2008, Apple's US retail outlets will sell the I-Sonic ES2 sound system, which features iTunes tagging for HD radio, allowing users to bookmark songs. Once songs are tagged, users can attach the iPod to their computer, and preview, buy, and download the tagged tracks.
Polk SurroundBar 360 DVD
Polk Audio on Friday marked CES with the creation of its first SurroundBar home-theater-in-a-box setup. The SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater involves just two pieces thanks to virtual surround sound effects: a single, bar speaker and an all-in-one console that includes a DVD player as well as a signal amp, an AM/FM radio, and the necessary connections for the TV. The namesake SurroundBar speaker can simulate bass-rich Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1-channel surround without distinct satellites or subwoofers while fitting underneath a flat-panel HDTV.
Apple HD Radio Plans
Efforts by Apple will have a slew of iPod speaker docks with HD Radio debuting at next month's Macworld show, according to one report. The device maker is allegedly very supportive of the iTunes Tagging feature that launched along with the Polk iSonic ES2 in the fall and wants to see it widespread in the accessory market, with many AM/FM radio docks gaining both HD Radio support and the ability to embed tags in the digital stream. The reason behind the maneuver is not explicitly mentioned but is likely an effort to drive iTunes sales through the accessory business, encouraging listeners to tag songs heard on the radio for a future download once an iPod in a radio dock syncs back with its host computer.